Lauretti: No Money – No Mandates

No money No mandates! That should be the message every CT Municipality sends this year to Governor Malloy and the rest of our State Representatives and State Senators.

CT Municipalities are fed up with being told by the state how to manage our operations. We are fed up with being constantly told what is best for our communities.

We are fed up with being forced to bear the entire cost, or at best, the biggest share of the cost of programs that are never means tested. We are fed up with being dictated to by a group of people that haven’t produced a balanced budget in many years. As a former Mayor, Governor Malloy should be well aware of this. Instead of continuing to pass the burden of Connecticut’s budget disaster down to the municipalities, he should be working collaboratively with towns and cities to provide real long term solutions.

The impact of this “stuff it down their throats” and ”big brother knows best” unfunded mandate legislation has and continues to put Connecticut’s larger cities on the brink of financial collapse and forced other communities to raise local property taxes. The Governor’s latest experiment with the Education Cost Sharing Grants would cut back on state money to municipalities except major cities in a futile attempt to salvage these ill thought out mandates.

Everyone, including the Governor, knows Connecticut is in serious financial crisis and the revenue side of the budget is not going to solve the problems without major private investment which has been discouraged instead of encouraged by Connecticut.

Yet, the Governor and the Democratic controlled legislature refuse to address non- essential mandated spending issues. Instead, they continue to heap unnecessary added costs onto our municipalities, continue to give away that which we cannot afford and place more financial burden upon municipalities.

One classic example of this is the Prevailing Wage law. It forces municipalities to pay higher wages for construction jobs that could otherwise cost less using the bidding process that has worked for decades. This is just a plain waste of everyone’s hard earned money. The Governor and the State Legislature have got to remove this and other politically motivated special interest laws. These laws cause unnecessary spending at all levels of government which none of us can afford.

It’s time for Municipal CEO’s to take a stand on behalf of Connecticut citizens. Hartford has failed us and has consistently demonstrated an inability to revise this negative trend that is pushing people of all socioeconomic back-grounds out of our great state.

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